Charity blocks

Irene is hosting a charity quit that will benefit the Carolina Hurricane Project.  She designed her own block.  Irene loves paper piecing so of course, her block is paper pieced.  But I don’t love paper piecing, so she said the strips could be pieced traditionally.  So I made some strip sets and then just paper pieced the last step.  And here is what I came up with:

Irene charity blocks

She requested that blocks be mailed by March 15th, so I’m just under the wire.  If you are interested in contributing to one of our charity quilts, Ann is our next hostess and she’s accepting chicken blocks through April 15th.  You can find more info here.

I was the first hostess this year and I asked for sailboat blocks.  I received 19, and when you add in the three I made for the tutorial, that left me with 22.  Since that’s not a good number for laying out rows, I made three more.


I now have 25 boats.  I could do a 5 x 5 layout or split them into two quilts and have a 4 x 4 and a 3 x 3.  Since I don’t love working with large quilts, I’m thinking they may end up as two different quilts.  I hope to get them assembled soon.


Chicken Blocks for March

Chicken Blocks for March

March is my month to propose and collect blocks for a Charity Quilt.  In preparation for my month I had two happy accidents.  First I saw this quilt by Emily Dennis at Quilting Love (this is her photo):


Then while at my local quilt shop right before New Years I found this awesome fabric:

chicken background fabric

So, obviously I needed to make a chicken quilt!

Emily’s blog post is here, and she links to the original pattern and tutorial for the Chicken Block: Chicken Quilt Block Tutorial by Sew Inspired.  I agree with Emily’s comment in her post that the instructions for attaching the comb is not entirely clear, so I’ll add some instructions of my own here.

Chicken Block Charity Quilt:

Please follow the Sew Inspired tutorial to create a 7″x8″ block (6.5″x7.5″ finished).

Body Fabric – black, grey or yellow – either solids or prints.  I like the look of the quilt that Emily created so the example above is a good one to use.  Note when you piece the chicken the 5.5″x6.5″ body piece should be placed with the 5.5″ side as the width and the 6.5″ piece as the height (see the diagram below).

Background – white solid or white on white print

Beak – Orange solid or print

Comb – Red solid or print

I drew this diagram to help with the assembly.  I got confused about which way the body was oriented and did it the wrong way the first time.  Go ahead and do all the triangle ‘snowballs’ on the edges before you do the comb (through step 4 on her tutorial).

chicken diagram

Comb Tutorial:

  1.  Cut two 2″x2.5″ squares as instructed in the tutorial.
  2. Draw a comb shape on the wrong side of one rectangle.  Orient the rectangle so that the 2.5″ side is the width and 2″ is the height.

marking the comb

3.  Put the squares right sides together and sew on your comb line:

sewing the comb

4.  Cut down the excess around the sewn line and clip the seam allowance where you have tight curves.  Here I’m trying to show that I clipped it in the ‘valleys’ between the comb bumps:

cutting the comb

5.  Turn the comb right side out and press:

turning right side out

6.  Place the comb on the top background strip (2″x5.5″) that already has the chicken body triangle attached.  You can see below I drew a 1/4″ line on the right side of the background piece to help keep the comb away from the seam allowance.  I should have done the same across the top!

quarter inch on the side

7.  Top stitch the comb down by stitching around the edge of the comb:

sewing down the comb

8.  Sew the 2″ square background piece on the right side.  You can see here I did better with keeping the comb away from the top seam allowance on my second comb:

comb comparison

9.  Join the rest of the pieces and admire your cute chicken!  With my pin cushions I’m really gathering a flock.

blocks with cushion

I hope you enjoy making your chickens, and I can’t wait to see them all!  If you choose to participate, please send me your blocks by April 15, 2019.  Bee Inspired members have my address, but if you just want to join in and send me blocks leave a comment and I’ll get you my address.

Happy chickens!

Ann from Brown Paws Quilting






More Boats Sailed My Way

Since I last posted pictures of all the boat blocks that have sailed my way, I’ve gotten the final two shipments.  (I love puns!)

Ann of Brown Paws Quilting sent these two boats.  Purple is my favorite color, so you know I love these sails!


Paige of Quilted Blooms sent these three boats.  Don’t you want to just disappear to where the sky is that blue and the water is that clear??


Paige even decorated the outside of the mailing envelope.  I was excited to see this in my mailbox!


In total, I received 19 boat blocks!  Add in the 3 I made as tests/examples, and that’s 22 boats!  I haven’t decided on layout yet.  I may do 4 x 5 and then use 2 for the back.  I’ll post a picture when I have a top assembled.

I am not accepting any more boat blocks but we do have other charity quilts this year if you want to participate!  Irene has created a block to be turned into a quit for the Carolina Hurricane Project, you can find the instructions here.  Irene will be accepting blocks mailed by March 15th.  And Ann is our next charity quit hostess, she will be posting her block and deadline soon (probably tomorrow!)


February 2019 – Charity Block(s)

It is my turn to provide a block that can be put together into a charity quilt.  I drew this block a little while back just for this purpose.  it is paper-pieced, but really, really easy. And if you would rather not paper piece, it can be constructed in other ways too.

Screen Shot 2019-02-02 at 6.47.22 PM

As for colors, I would like for you to use a dark blue for the “background” please.  For the stripes please make the top stripe yellow and the bottom stripe green. I am envisioning bright, vibrant colors for this quilt.

When finished, it will be donated to the Carolina Hurricane Quilt Project.  Following a couple of devastating years and equally devastating hurricanes, Carole (From My Carolina Home) created the project in order to help households in Eastern North Carolina.

Below are a few examples of how the block can be used:

The .pdf for the pattern is below: (please ensure that when printed the block is the correct measurements; 6 1/2″ from outside line to outside line).

job_3209 Paper Pieced

I hope you all have fun with this one!

Lastly, please try and get the block (or blocks if you are feeling industrious) to me by March 15th.



Come Sail Away With Me

I’m the hostess/maker of Bee Inspired first charity quilt for 2019.  I chose a fun and simple sailboat block and the boats have been sailing all the way to my mailbox!

We opened this up to anyone who wants to make blocks, not just original Bee Inspired members.  I’m pleased to report that we’ve had two new folks join in!  First are FOUR great boats from Wendy at Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life.

Wendy’s boats

And there are two fun boats from Kathleen at Kathleen McMusing. I adore this water fabric!!!!

Kathleen’s boats

Here are two from Sue at Sevenoaks Street Quilts.  You should visit her post here for much better photos.  She really got into the ocean theme!

Sue’s boats

Sharon of Yellow Cat Quilt Designs used different dots for her sky fabrics.

Sharon’s boats

Kate of Smiles From Kate used some lovely sky & cloud fabric for one of her boats.  Looks like a beautiful day for sailing!

Kate’s boats

And Janice of Color, Creating and Quilting! used a similar cloud fabric for a sunny day and raindrops for a stormy day.  Good thing it’s only fabric rain!

Janice’s boats

These boats will be sewn together into a quilt for the Charlotte chapter of Project Linus.  If you want to make a boat or two for this charity quilt, you can find the tutorial here.  If you need my address for mailing, just leave a comment and I’ll email you.  Please mail blocks by February 15th.  If that’s too soon, don’t worry.  Ann will be hosting another charity quilt in March and Sharon will host one in July.

Boat Blocks Project Linus Quilt

These blocks were fun and fast to make!  Or they would have been had I not chosen to use directional fabrics for the sky.  Sheesh!  Because of that, the flags on one of these blocks had to be sewn on backwards because I didn’t think it through when I was making the HST’s.  Sorry about that, Emily!  You don’t have to use that one if it doesn’t look good with the others.


January 2019: Charity Block

Our Bee Inspired group has been together since 2017.  Our first two years, we operated as an online quilting bee.  For 2019, we’re changing it up!  This year, there are a variety of activities and each member chooses which she’d like to participate in.  And we’re no longer limited to just the original twelve members; anyone can sew along with us!

One of our activities is making charity quilts.  There are three of us throughout the year who will pick a block, post a tutorial and a mailing deadline, and anyone can make and mail blocks. The hostess will then assemble the blocks and donate the quilt to a charity.  I’m first up and we’re making boats!

I am an active member of the Charlotte chapter of Project Linus.  Project Linus quilts go to kids from birth to age 18 who need a blanket hug.  The Charlotte chapter sends quilts to 45 organizations in a 5-county region, including hospitals, police departments, shelters, and more. The quilt made from the boat blocks I receive will be donated to Project Linus.  My preferred size is a 4 x 4 setting, meaning 16 blocks.  I can do a Project Linus quilt with as few as 9 blocks.  If I get more, it will just be a bigger quilt!

Bee Inspired members already have my address.  Anyone else who wants to make a block or several, leave a comment letting me know and I’ll email you my mailing address.  Please plan to mail blocks by February 15th. 

There are several patterns and tutorials out there for this block.  I mostly followed this one by The Spruce Craft, but I also saw basically the same block at Generations Quilt Patterns, Alanda Craft, and this complication at Quilt Inspiration has several quilts that include this block.  These measurements (except for the HST pieces) are from The Spruce Craft.  I am using my photos because I like a  detailed and photo-heavy tutorial.  This is a 12″ finished block.

You will need four fabrics:

Sky:  light to medium blues or light to medium grays

Water: dark blue

Boat Bottom and Sails: anything yellow, green, red, orange, brown, or multi-colored.  Purple is also fine if it is on the bold side and not too pastel-y. My Project Linus chapter specifically needs non-gender-specific or boy-ish quilts so please avoid anything obviously pink, floral, or girly.

cut pieces


Sky: (2) 3 1/2 x 6 1/2″ rectangles, (2) 3 1/2″ squares, (2) 4″ squares **or whatever you like to make 4 HST**

Sails: (2) 4″ squares **or whatever you like to make 4 HST**

Boat Bottom: (1) 3 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ rectangle

Water: (1) 3 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ rectangle

Use whatever method you like to make 4 HST out of the sail and the sky fabrics.  I cut (2) 4″ squares from each fabric.  I used my Quilter’s Magic Wand to mark both sewing lines, then I stitched on both lines, cut apart, pressed, and trimmed to 3 1/2″ using my Bloc Loc Ruler.  If you prefer a different method, adjust your original pieces accordingly.  You want 4 Half Square Triangles each measuring 3 1/2″ square.

Quilter’s Magic Wand  

Arrange your HST as shown below.  When you have your pairs sewn together, press one unit toward the sail fabric and the other unit toward the sky fabric.  This will allow the units to nest when assembling the four-patch.

HST arranged for the sails

Once your four-patch of sails is assembled, add a 3 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ inch sky rectangle to each side.

sails plus sky

To make your boat bottom, take your 3 1/2″ sky squares and mark a line down the center of each square.  Line the squares up on the corners of the boat fabric rectangle as shown.

Sew on the marked line.  Trim 1/4″ from the sewn line and press.  Your boat bottom will look like this:

boat bottom

Sew your boat bottom to your sails.

boat bottom plus sails

Sew your water rectangle to your boat.

completed block

Voila!  You are ready to sail away!  I can’t wait to put together this colorful, scrappy armada!


This is our third year in Bee Inspired but we are shaking things up in 2019 and running activities rather than bees. This will work out better for some of us who have other commitments that take priority over bee blocks.

We’re going to be sewing charity quilt blocks, making a mini sampler and running a couple of challenges. If you fancy playing along we’d be glad to have you. Here’s a garishly coloured schedule. Follow the blog for tutorials and details of the challenges.


scheduleWhat does a six block sampler look like? These are a few doodles I’ve put together (in Word which explains the standard shapes). The houses are any 3 extra blocks of your choosing. We’ve decided to use 6 inch blocks and a modern-traditional theme.

samplerYou’ll be able to contact the charity quilt queens if you want to contribute to their quilts simply by commenting on the blog.

If you want us to show your blocks or challenge quilts leave us a comment on the relevant tutorial post and we’ll be in touch for the photos.


Two blocks for Kate

Our queen for the month is Kate.  She is having significant mobility difficulties at the moment.  I am not disclosing this to gossip, but rather to illustrate how we have all become “real” friends, even though we have never met (or even spoken to each other). Unsere Königin für den Monat ist Kate. Sie hat derzeit erhebliche Mobilitätsschwierigkeiten. Ich verrate das nicht um zu klatschen, sondern um zu illustrieren, wie wir alle zu “echten” Freundinnen geworden sind, obwohl wir uns nie begegnet sind (und auch nie miteinander gesprochen haben). Because Kate is not able to sew or type currently, several bee members volunteered to help with making her blocks and publishing her posts!  Pretty awesome, huh?

Da Kate momentan nicht nähen oder den Computer benutzen kann, meldeten sich mehrere unserer Mitglieder freiwillig, um ihre Blöcke zu nähen und ihre Beiträge zu veröffentlichen! Ziemlich großartig, nicht wahr?

So here is the block that Kate wanted for this month:

Und hier ist der Block, den Kate für diesen Monat wollte:

IMG_2257 2.jpg These two blocks are constructed out of only two (2 1/2″) strips of fabric….genius!

Diese zwei Blöcke sind aus nur zwei (2 1/2 “) Stoffstreifen konstruiert …. genial!

I hope Kate likes them, and I hope she can get back to doing the things she loves to do and wants to do soon!

Ich hoffe, dass sie Kate gefallen, und ich hoffe auch dass sie zu den Dingen zurückkehren kann, die sie gerne macht und die sie bald tun möchte!